Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Recording Connection
Welcome to Recording Connection–the audio school alternative that puts you inside the door of a real recording studio where you learn one-on-one from an industry professional.
Our program is modeled from the age-old externship approach, where you learn your craft on-the-job from a master. In this case, it means you train inside an actual recording studio or record company, and your mentor is an actual music producer or recording engineer in that facility.
This is a crucial difference from other schools. Our students are learning in the actual environment in which they later want to work. There are so many things you can’t learn in a classroom about how a business really works, and that is one of the main reasons our program works so well.
There’s an old cliché that it’s not about what you know—it’s who you know. In this business, the cliché is true—it IS all about who you know and who knows you. With our six-month externship program, you’re actually presented with the opportunity to sell yourself to somebody who could hire you once you’ve finished the program.
It’s one-on-one exclusively in the studio. You follow a 20-course structured curriculum with your mentor and at the same time you’re learning about networking with different executives, producers, A-list clientele, day in and day out in the studio. You learn everything hands-on with nobody else in the classroom, just you and your mentor.
Our students get an opportunity to sit in on real studio sessions with a real engineer who’s making Grammy-winning stuff. You’re not going to get that opportunity anywhere else.
Our students go to class a minimum of two times per week. We have some students going seven times per week. It depends upon your schedule, your commitment to this program and to your career, and how well you impress your mentor. We believe being an extern inside a real recording studio is the best way to break into this business, period.
Traditional audio schools might open a door or two for you some time after you graduate. Our program opens these doors from day one. From your first day, you’re already learning from a mentor who is a working audio professional. Someone’s guaranteed to give you the time that you need. And that’s a huge head start on life.
We work as hard as we can for every individual student. Each is given one-on-one treatment and each learns individually what he/she wants to do for a career. Many students will vary from wanting to work in a recording studio to wanting doing live sound for concerts, or working with bands. What is it that you want to do? We help you achieve those goals with our programs and personal instruction.
We’re very proud of our program. We feel that it’s filled with integrity. We’ve got a staff of over 41 people in our Los Angeles office who are here to help you and your family not only to decide if this is the right school for you, but once you become a student, to assist in charting your educational experience and progress with us.
One of the questions parents have for us is, “We are very interested in your school, but I see you don’t give a diploma.” That’s true–we don’t give a diploma (although we give a certificate of completion). The reason we don’t give diplomas, quite frankly, is that in the music industry, they are basically meaningless. They mean nothing. In fact, they can almost hurt you. All the diploma tells prospective employers in this business is, “I’ve never actually done this in the real world—just in school.”
Keep in mind that you will get a certification of completion from us. No, it isn’t a four-year degree. A lot of people say to themselves, “I want to get my degree.” If that’s a priority for you, then go for it—but do it in a more normal career. Be a doctor or lawyer, or enter some other profession where a degree actually makes sense. It makes no sense at all to get a degree if you’re pursuing a career in the music industry as an audio engineer or music producer (unless you are planning on a career teaching music at some college).
Audio pros don’t talk about their degrees. In fact, most of them don’t have degrees. What they do tell people is what projects they’ve worked on, what gear they’ve worked with, and what they do. In order to get from Point A to Point B in this business, you have to have spent time with mentors and people in the industry building relationships. A lot of the other trade schools put you in front of a lot of equipment for awhile, and then you’re on your own.
When our students are done with the program, they’re not bragging about a diploma they have—a diploma that nobody in the industry cares about–they’re able to say “I got to sit in on U2’s recording session. I got a chance to work on this record, listen to my mix. Ask my mentor about me.” Our students are working on real projects, real records, real credible opportunities which show real-world experience. In the arts in general, and the music industry in particular, experience far outweighs today’s college degree or diploma.
Where You Learn
The stuff that you would learn at a traditional school, we take it out of the classroom environment, and we place it directly in a real-world environment, with an industry professional—somebody who is going to show you the ropes, teaching you one-on-one.
When you’re in a professional studio, you’re learning on professional gear. You’re learning on commercial equipment, the gear you’re actually going to be using in the field, as opposed to what they think you need to know in a simulated lab facility somewhere.
This is really what you want to do: to be in a studio and be able to touch the board and be able to mess with all the outboard gear, and be able to touch things and ask questions and pick someone’s brain who really cares about what you’re learning, as opposed to being in more of a classroom setting, where you only get maybe a couple of hours of one-on-one-time.
We started this program in 1983. Today, we’re all over the United States, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. We have hundreds and hundreds of recording studios and mentors. What’s great about this is when you’re a student with us, not only are you training in a real recording studio in your hometown, you also have the network of all of our studios around the world as well.
We have placement coordinators who work to find the best fit for you within easy commuting distance, so you don’t have to leave your hometown. You don’t have to quit your day job. We can find you a studio as close as possible to where you’re living now so you can get started in the program right away without having to relocate.
How You Learn
At the Recording Connection, you learn one-on-one with a working professional in the recording industry. This professional is somebody who makes a living as an audio engineer or music producer, as opposed to somebody who makes money by teaching classes full-time. Which of these do you think better prepares you for the job market?
While you are studying with your mentor, you’re also building relationships with your mentor, his clients, and his associates. Those relationships can lead to all kinds of places and all sorts of opportunities.
You’re not in a classroom environment, so to speak. Our classrooms are actually in someone’s studio as opposed to a simulated environment of an “on-campus studio”. It is the actual, real-world environment that you need to thrive in.
This program creates an environment where students can come in and learn at their own pace, and to focus on their particular interests. Our mentors know how to tailor the experience to the needs and career goals of each student.
The Gear You Learn With
We make a real effort to stay on top of all the new technology and the most popular trends as far as how records are being made and the types of records our students want to make. We start with Pro Tools™ and give everyone the basics such as signal flow, how you’re getting the signal from the mic into the gear—how you go from analog into digital. We have everyone jump in right away. It’s all hands-on, and while our mentors explain things, the students are actually hooking up the gear themselves right from the beginning. Any of the top-level gear you can imagine, our students have hands-on access to it, because the class takes place in a real, world-class studio.
It’s an asset to you as you begin your career to know how to operate different pieces of industry standard equipment in an efficient and confident manner. You can’t do that unless you’ve had a chance to work with the gear. With our program, you do.
If you have music genre specific interest needs, we will pair you up with the right mentor for you.
We’ve got the ability and the network to place you in any studio across the country that records and produces the kind of music that you want to do. If you’re a rock guy, we don’t place you in a jazz studio. If you’re into hip-hop, we’re not going to place you with a death metal engineer. If you’re into smooth R&B, you’re not going to be working on kiddie pop for the Disney Channel; you’re going to be working on smooth R&B! We even have students who want to be film composers, and we can put them with composers! Whatever genre or style you’re into, we can pair you with the perfect producer who will teach you the nuances of recording and producing that style. Again, think of the mentor-extern model of education.
We Work to Find You Work
We help you, from the minute you step foot in that studio, to make the right decisions to get the job you want, whether you want to get hired there or elsewhere.
Other, classroom-based schools have very few connections in the industry. They can help you get internships at certain places, because those major studios will say, “Hey, we need a bunch of free labor,” and they will easily find willing students who are looking for opportunities. Out of a class of 20 who all got the internship at the same place, maybe one of them will get a job there.
By contrast, we help our students get jobs through our Stay Connected Program. Once they finish working with their mentors, they learn things like resume building, cover letters, getting references, and narrowing down their career goals. We also emphasize with our students that by externing in a real studio, they are in effect auditioning for a job (which is why so many of our students get hired by the studios where we place them). Your mentor can be a built-in resource either to get hired at the studio, or to help you make connections with other industry professionals.
How to Get a Job
Our philosophy is “Why not start at the bottom as quickly as possible?” If you’re already inside the door of a record company or a recording studio, you’re the person they know, you’re the person they like, you’re the person they trust. Who are they going to hire when an opening comes available? They’re always going to hire the guy or girl they know, rather than going over the stacks of resumes they receive from the other audio school students they’ve never met.
Studio owners mostly hire people that they know personally, especially when they feel confident about the work that they’ve seen them do. It’s really about who you know in the industry. Our students get the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience in the studio, which increases their potential of getting a job.
The Recording Connection puts you in position to form the relationships you need to further yourself and expand your music industry network. The connections you make as an extern will you will learn are necessary tools for you to survive in this business.
The real advantage of the Recording Connection is that you’re inside the business from your first day. You don’t have to wait until you graduate to learn how the gear works, how to deal with clients and producers or the other aspects of the recording business. You get to see it first hand and experience it, and that is priceless.
The job board is primarily used for students to browse and find jobs that they’re interested in. We encourage them to apply to all of the jobs just to see what they might like, what they don’t like, see who they vibe with. It’s all about building the process of where you’d like to go with your career.
Students are able to access our job board at any time with their username and password. The jobs are only available to students and people who are in the industry.
We have literally thousands of success stories—stories of students who have graduated and are now earning a living working in the music business. Here are some quotes from a few of our mentors.
“I’ve been teaching for Recording Connection for about five years now. And over that course of time, I’ve graduated between 50 and 60 students. And a lot of them have gone on to do really great things. We have a few guys that are working at local radio stations. We have a couple of guys that freelance out of our spot and we pass them projects and they pass projects back to us to mix and master.”
“A kid named Kevin, we’ll just call him Kevin—he missed his exit coming to the studio one day, and he had to go up around another street and come down. He saw Nickelodeon Studios. And he came in all excited and he really wanted to work at Nickelodeon Studios. He said, “Dude, I saw Nickelodeon Studios. How do I get in there?” And I said, “I don’t know. Just go knock on the door and tell them you want to work there.” And he did, he’s still working there. This was four years ago. He won an Emmy for sound design on a cartoon show.”
“Some of my students have become producers with me in music. They went from 0 to 100 so quick that I ended up working with them professionally.”
“It’s really great and rewarding to have a student get to a place where you can confidently hand them work and know that they’re going to do a great job and they’re going to represent you well. And the client is going to respect you for passing that project to them.”
Who Endorses Us
We’ve got scores of Grammy award-winning engineers who are mentors for the Recording Connection. We also have endorsements from some music icons, people like Russell Simmons, and Hans Zimmer. Some of the biggest names in the industry are behind this age-old externship approach in learning.
Why do they endorse us? They endorse us because they know that the way to get into this business is to get in the door of a real recording studio and to have connections.
Message to Parents
What really makes it work is the fact that you’re in the door of a studio, but you also are going through a very structured course curriculum. Keep in mind that we redo our course every year, and we hire literally three to four Grammy award winning engineers and music producers to get their hands on our course, to go through it and make sure we’re teaching what you really need to know.
It’s one-on-one training. It’s the old externship model. It dates back to ancient times when people learned a skill by externing with someone who had mastered that skill, with the intent that the extern would eventually take over for the master. This one-on-one teaching approach is the same thing, which is why we like it, which is why we signed on to it, which is why we do it.
So many of our mentors are Grammy award-winning engineers. One thing we’ve found so amazing about this program is that the most successful people in this industry love to pay back and love to be mentors.
At typical schools and institutions, you go to the campus for class. You’re responsible for figuring things out, and it’s literally a miracle if you can actually garner some professional assistance from the teacher. You’re actually sort of inconveniencing the teacher by asking for any help outside the classroom. By contrast, inside a real studio with one student and one mentor, that doesn’t happen because there’s no one else, and you’re not wasting anyone else’s time. And you’re also not slowed down. If you get the material, you get to move forward at your own pace, so you also don’t have anyone else slowing you down.
One way to look at this program is that you basically get to “cut in line” because from day one, you’re already inside a recording studio. You’re already learning from a mentor. Someone’s guaranteed to give you the time you need, and it’s that one-on-one teaching that really allows people to excel, to get the information they need when they need it and in the way that they need it delivered.
It’s also very important to know how much we care. We’ve got a staff of over 40 people in our Los Angeles office, and we’re here for you Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 6:00 Pacific. We are on a mission, and the mission is to reform audio engineering education by a basic, common-sense approach. The mission is to break you into the door of a real recording studio the right way, the smart way, and to keep you out of debt while we do that.
Thank you for considering us. We hope this has been instructive for you and your family. You’re probably wondering what your next steps are. If you have not yet visited a recording studio, call us and we will talk to you and pair you with the right recording studio. You’ll go into that recording studio, either alone or with your family–it’s up to you. And remember, when we send you to the recording studio, we send you for no charge; there are no application fees of any kind. You’ll go into the recording studio, and you’ll interview with an actual audio engineer or music producer. You’ll sit down with that person and be interviewed to see if you’re the right extern for that mentor and for that studio. So the next step is to give us a call and let us show you what we can do for you. 800.755.7597.